Saturday, July 28, 2012

SS to MO, into the evening Light

July 27, 2012

Kayak, SS to MO
Wind, none, water 80!
Launched at 8 PM

Passing the Graving dock of Bay Ship Building, I stopped to observe a guy welding on the A-Frame support for the self-unloading boom on the ex-Mary Turner, now the Ashtabula…her Tug is in the floating dry dock.

The Tug was the Beverly Anderson and now is Defiance…
It is a large Tug with twin screws, so the name fits.

Farther down the yard was the Kate Barker, blowing off some water and have some welding done on the stack.

Paddling on the Sun slowly sinks into the Western sky. Light changes from daylight blue into nautical twilight. The setting sun mellows the sky into pastel hues of pink, orange and blue.

There was an old school style motor yacht at Center Point Marine, dark blue, steel I think. It was from Milwaukee, vertical bow with stainless plates to protect the hull from the anchor. Twin Masts at each end of the large deckhouse, spinning ports on the bridge to throw off rain, snow and ice…it was tough looking, my kind of boat…they were cooking a delicious smelling meal too.

I went past Center Point to look at the rowing course set up for tomorrow along Memorial drive. I heard there will be over 90 participants with sculls ranging from singles to 8’s.
Falcon in the evening light
With the water so warm, a beautiful evening sky, no powerboats, calm seas, light wind…a perfect way to relax at the end of a busy week.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Anclam Park to Cana Island and return

July 21st

Anclam Park in Baileys Harbor, WI to Cana Island and return
13 miles, light rain, then sun, winds from sw, 5 to 15, waves none to 3 feet
 I drove to Baileys Harbor to meet with Russ, Tim (Team Leadership Center) and the CYE group they are escorting.

Anclam Beach...the town just remodeled it this spring

Anclam Beach and we are launching
The CYE is paddling around Door County this summer, doing the coast in 15 mile stretches. They have more participants the boats, so anyone land bound for the day has the option of biking a route then meeting the paddlers at a take out. Logistically there is a lot going on off the water. Staying organized to support 15 boats onthewater and fairly new paddlers, wanted a few helping hands onshore. Keeping track of the needed equipment, hauling the boats, paddles, extra clothing, food, dropping off, picking up; it reminded me of the logistics person keeping us supplied when I went to Outward-bound in Colorado back in 1976.
Jumping in 
We met up about 8:15 and were under way around 9. Russ, Tim, Father Quinn, and 11 paddlers, most were in their early 20s. Some had previous paddling experience, but many had just learned the basics during the past few weeks.
Crossing Bailey's Harbor
A warm summer rain
We left about 9ish. There was an Overcast, gray sky and a light sw wind with drizzle. After launching and crossing part of the harbor it was obvious one young man had an issue controlling his boat.
Crossing Paths
It was a shorter perception, without a rudder. He just could not get a handle on controlling the direction, so Tim switched him to another boat when we reached shallow water…problem solved.
Nearing the Bird-Cage Light
We pass the Bird-Cage
The old birdcage light house on the east side of the harbor had a lonely forlorn look about it under that gray cloudy sky. It is on private property, but is viewable from the water. There are several points of land on the way to Cana…all have shallow reefs extending a half mile or so from land. Good areas to avoid when there is any wave action, especially with new paddlers or fiberglass hulls. They are rocky areas, no sand.
The CYE Paddlers
Heading to Cana is always an adventurous paddle.
Crossing Moonlight Bay from Toft’s Point to Bues Point takes you several miles off shore. Toft’s point juts into Lake Michigan, so paddlers can be exposed to rolling swells and strong waves from a s or se wind. We had some 2 footers, enough to make the paddle interesting; occasionally one could catch a wave ride.
Cana Island in the distance
Cana Island with Bues Point on the left
Crossing Cana Island
Again there is a reef jutting lakeside to the east of Cana Island. It is rocky and can be rough. We paddle around the island to the North side to take out and stretch our legs.

There were a few swells
The Cana Island light is a tall steel cladded white tower. Currently it is open to public tours through the Door County Maritime Museum.
People on the Light watching us watch them
Russ and Father Quinn
Taking a break near the Island Causeway
I needed to be home sooner, so said goodbyes and headed back south while the group headed on North to Sand Bay.
Heading back
The wind picked up a little and the sun decided to beam in on me as I rounded Cana into Moonlight Bay.
Rounding close by the East side of Cana Island
It was a long hot paddle to Toft’s Point where I pulled out, stripped down (my paddling clothes) and ate. Tuna, crackers, jell-o, granola,… drank lots of water.
Beached on Toft's Point
Found a flat rock and relaxed in the sun before heading back. Rounding Toft’s Point I hugged the shore, picking my way through the rocks and breaking waves…that was more interesting than staying clear of them by going offshore.
Back in Baileys Harbor at the old Bird Cage
Around the point and into Baileys Harbor, under a HOT sun, past the Bird–cage lighthouse, dodged a few powerboats and jet skis, then onto the beach. Lashed the boat onto the truck, changes clothes, grabbed a single scoop of Cookies an’ Cream on a waffle cone at the Yum-Yum Tree and headed home. Later I drove to Menards Lumber in Green Bay to pick up some Western Red Cedar to glue up the main mast for the Trap Skiff.
Smooth sand on Anclam Beach...finally no rocks

Monday, July 2, 2012

Kayak Two Rivers, WI

Calm to light wind, water 50's?
3 hour paddle...Up the beach to Point Beach State Park and return.
Twilight arrives as the the sun departs

The next town below Kewaunee on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan is Two Rivers. There is a group of kayakers, the NE Wisconsin Paddlers that have been together since the late 90’s or early 2000’s.

They paddle off Neshotah Beach in Two Rivers. Neshotah, in Chippewa, is Nijode, meaning twins; or two families. The area was likely named because of the Two rivers that come together just south of the park. The paddle group has few choices of where to go off the beach…North, South on Lake Michigan or up one of the three rivers, The East Twin, West Twin or the Manitowoc River, the mouth of which is 5 or 6 miles away. I have been down there a half dozen times over the past ten years. The beach is great to surf. It doesn’t have a large drop off, so the waves just gradually build and are consistent for miles.
Here we are in TR
As with all groups it is in flux, for awhile they had over 30 people ONTHEWATER, now it is down to 8 or so. Like every group of SEA KAYAKERS, safety is a concern. When the group had their peak in numbers, new paddlers were coming without a clue to the hidden dangers that sea kayakers should know. Many didn’t wear life jackets, spray skirts or the correct clothing…like the saying goes; ignorance is bliss. Some of the experienced kayakers became concerned about the newcomers lack of preparedness and started paddling elsewhere. Yakkers, who don’t dress for immersion, place everyone they paddle with at risk. WHEN they get in trouble, the experienced people will be the ones saving them, possibly endangering their own safety in the process. There are several classes and training sessions during the year in the local area.
Heading North
Lucky for me the group in Two Rivers were late getting on the water, otherwise they would have been long gone before I launched. They meet at 5:30 and launch 5:45 …the earliest I could arrive would be 5:45 and on the water by 6, but it worked out for me, as one of the group was running late and had called to see if the rest would wait…good for me! We all left slightly after 6.

Coming back along the beach
Curtis, Beverly, Pattie, Lee, Steve, Jerry, Horst and me this week….I’m bad with names, but I think I have them all.

They paddle off an awesome sand beach. It runs from the mouth of the Twin Rivers in Two rivers for several miles north, then another 6 miles along Point Beach State Park. Last night there were several groups playing volleyball in Neshotah Beach Park, where we launched, otherwise few people and no boats near us, any fishermen in powerboats were several miles off shore.
Signaling our aerial scouts
We did get buzzed by two powered parachutes; they are regular visitors when the wind is light. I could imagine what a beautiful sight they had of the setting sun and our colorful boats below as they cruised the lakeshore.  They came down for a closer look when several yakkers were rolling.
Two Rivers Pierhead light
We went North about an hour, then headed back. I wanted to go to the mouth of the Two Rivers and see the pier head light, so when they landed I said my goodbyes and headed to the pier.
Maybe we’ll meet on the beach again this summer.